Enable Night Shift on your iPhone and iPad to sleep better at night. Synchronise your devices with the cycles of nature to improve your health.
Blue light after dark prevents sleep
Last week we saw how to use Dark Mode to make Twitter easier on the eyes. Today we tackle the broader effect of the blue light that is emitted by our devices and it’s potential harm to our health.
Melatonin and the brain
Millions of years of evolution have synchronised the cycles of our minds and bodies to the cycles of the sun. The golden light of the setting sun at the end of the day signals to our brains that it is nearing time to go to sleep. These longer wavelengths of light trigger an increase in the production of melatonin, the hormone that tells our brains to sleep.
Scientific studies have shown that blue light produces a specific wavelength that slows the release of melatonin, making it more difficult to sleep at night.
Apple recognised this potential health problem and built into iOS a feature called Night Shift that will gradually change the hue of the screen toward the end of the day, reducing the amount of blue light emitted from your iPhone or iPad.
Scheduling Night Shift for a good night’s sleep every night
After enabling this feature you may not even notice the change, but your body will be grateful as you will most likely sleep a lot better at night as a result of the increase in melatonin. Adjust the Colour Temperature using the slider to increase or decrease the effect.
- Tap on Settings
- Tap on Display & Brightness
- Tap on Nightshift
- Tap on Scheduled
- Tap on Times to set times that you want Night Shift to operate
Custom Schedule or Sunset to Sunrise
From here you can choose to automate the schedule based on your local Sunset and Sunrise times, or create a Custom Schedule to suit your own sleeping pattern.
Note: Location settings must be turned on for the Sunset and Sunrise setting to work as it uses your location to determine the time of your location’s sunrise and sunset.
Any time you turn off Location settings Night Shift will revert to scheduled times instead of automatically changing at sunrise and sunset.
Adjust the Colour Temperature using the slider in the Night Shift settings to increase or decrease the effect.
Manually enable Night Shift via Control Center
Night Shift can also be manually switched on. This is really just a shortcut to the “Manually enable Until Tomorrow” setting that you saw in the Night Shift settings.
- Slide up to access Control Center
- Tap the Sun / Moon icon to enable Night Shift
Caveat: Night Shift is not available to older devices
Nightshift requires a 64 bit processor and so is not available to many older devices. These include iPhone 5s and later, iPad Air and later, and iPad Mini 2 and later.
Flux on the Mac
If you use a Mac the same effect can be acheived with an app called Flux. Flux makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day, just like Night Shift.
Twilight for Android
There’s also an app for Android that matches the functionality of Night Shift on iOS.
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